May 16, 2023

EMDR Therapy in San Francisco: A Promising Treatment for Trauma

EMDR Therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is an increasingly popular form of psychotherapy that has proven effective in treating trauma. EMDR Therapy in San Francisco is an excellent option for those in the Bay Area who seek relief from traumatic experiences. EMDR can help individuals process their memories and emotions related to past traumas to move forward with greater resilience and well-being. This trauma therapy involves directing eye movements while focusing on particular aspects of a traumatic event.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a brand-new psychotherapy technique created by psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1990. For those with PTSD, anxiety disorders, or trauma, EMDR therapy is a viable choice for treatment. It's a means of moving on from the past. An integrative psychotherapy method known as EMDR has been thoroughly studied and found to be successful in treating trauma. Millions of people of all ages have experienced psychological trauma relief with the help of EMDR therapy, which consists of standardized procedures that integrate components from numerous therapeutic modalities.

The goal is to reprocess the memory by creating new neural pathways associated with more positive feelings and thoughts about it. EMDR has been found to reduce symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame associated with trauma more quickly than traditional talk therapies alone. Exposure therapy, such as EMDR, can be upsetting. With EMDR Therapy in San Francisco, you can find support for your journey towards healing from past trauma as you reclaim your life for the better.  

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful, evidence-based therapy designed to help individuals process traumatic experiences that cause distress. EMDR is highly effective in treating trauma, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It works by helping the individual reprocess their memories and emotions related to past traumas. EMDR employs a unique form of bilateral stimulation that incorporates eye movements or other rhythmic movements while focusing on particular aspects of traumatic memory. This helps create new neural pathways associated with more positive feelings and thoughts about the event.

The interactive psychotherapy technique known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) reduces psychological stress by giving your nervous system a chance to settle back into its normal, relaxed state ultimately. The technique is based on the idea that post-traumatic stress disorder can result when painful and traumatic memories aren't fully processed. You then relive those unprocessed memories when specific visuals, actions, thoughts, or odors trigger them. The mental distress and other symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder are brought on by this reliving (PTSD).

EMDR intends to lessen trauma's effects by altering how events are stored in the brain. Simply put, an EMDR therapist guides you through a pattern of bilateral (right and left) eye movements as you gradually recall distressing or triggering events until they no longer start you.

EMDR Therapy benefits for multiple trauma victims

Although EMDR has traditionally been prescribed to treat PTSD, anxiety, and depression, studies have shown that therapy offers advantages for everyone. Here are a few benefits of EMDR therapy that you may experience.

Change your viewpoints

Many of us unwittingly carry self-defeating beliefs resulting from unfortunate previous experiences. Traumatic childhood events or a horrible divorce may be the source of one's beliefs that one must be faultless or not worthy of love.

EMDR therapy assists in reducing the influence of these negative beliefs by emphasizing that these views are only one possible interpretation of an experience and that there are other, more correct, and empowering interpretations available.

Rehabilitate after trauma

Psychologists advise EMDR for PTSD patients since it successfully processes all types of trauma. Both brain halves are stimulated using bilateral stimulation to reprocess upsetting memories. EMDR has demonstrated benefits for many life traumas, including depression, anxiety, nightmares, loss, divorce, bullying, and abuse.

Rapid-fire outcomes

In contrast to conventional therapy, EMDR treatment uses a different way to address difficulties patients have attempted to discuss. Years may be resolved in a small number of sessions. Additionally, EMDR doesn't need you to share every detail of your recollections, which is highly beneficial if you have problems speaking.

It helps you control minor tensions before they become major

If daily stressors are not addressed, they eventually take a toll and may result in total burnout. However, there's no need to delay until you're utterly worn out before taking action. A few sessions of EMDR therapy every so often can assist you in relieving the stress you've been carrying.

Continuous development

Everyone benefits from EMDR therapy, not just those who are consciously experiencing it. Negative thoughts can be changed to improve your relationships, productivity at work, inspiration, healthcare, and more. You can realize your true potential by stilling the voice that tells you, "I can't," or "why to bother."

How effective is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy has been widely studied and has demonstrated its effectiveness in treating various mental health conditions. EMDR Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that effectively reduces symptoms of psychological distress associated with trauma, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Numerous studies have shown EMDR to be an effective treatment for adults and children in San Francisco who have experienced traumatic events. EMDR reduces emotional distress related to the trauma and improves overall functioning.

EMDR can also help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including intrusive thoughts and nightmares, avoidance behaviors, emotional numbing, hyperarousal symptoms, negative beliefs about oneself and the world, and distorted beliefs about the cause or consequences of the trauma. EMDR is a powerful and effective tool for individuals seeking healing from traumatic experiences in San Francisco. EMDR therapy is a vital resource that can help you overcome the effects of trauma and lead a more fulfilling life. The EMDR therapy offered in San Francisco by Dr. Cammy provides an effective, safe, and confidential way to process difficult emotions associated with past traumas.

EMDR therapists with considerable training, like Dr. Cammy, can help clients find solutions to their current problems so they can live better lives. EMDR therapy is a secure method for processing unpleasant memories connected to traumatic experiences, enabling people to recover and lead more fulfilling lives.

How does EMDR Therapy work

You will need to attend several sessions because EMDR therapy is divided into eight phases. Six to twelve sessions are typically required for treatment. However, more sessions may be necessary.

Phase 1: Planning the history and treatment

Your therapist will review your symptoms and medical history to determine where you are in the therapy process. Discussing the trauma and assessing possible memories to address is also part of this evaluation process.

Phase 2: Preparation

To assist you in managing and dealing with the psychological and emotional stress you're going through or any uncomfortable feelings that might surface during therapy, your therapist will teach you a few different coping mechanisms. The term for this is resourcing. For instance, you might study mindfulness practices and deep breathing techniques for managing stress.

Phase 3: Evaluation

Your therapist will assist you in choosing a particular memory to target during the third stage of EMDR therapy, along with any pertinent details of that event, such as:

  • Unpleasant feelings or symptomology
  • Unwanted ideas or pictures
  • Undesirable or upsetting self-beliefs

Phases 4–7: Medical treatment

Your therapist will subsequently address the targeted memories using EMDR treatment procedures. There are four steps to this:

  • Desensitization. You'll concentrate on that unfavorable idea, recollection, or impression. You'll be instructed simultaneously through bilateral stimulation (BLS), which may entail tapping, precise eye movements, auditory tones, or blinking lights. After that, you'll let your mind wander and pay attention to any thoughts or emotions that arise. After recognizing these ideas, your therapist could ask you to return to the traumatic memory or go on to another, depending on whether the experience is no longer associated with negative feelings.
  • Installation. In phase three, you identified an undesirable self-belief or image that you will "install" in place. Through yet another BLS repetition, you'll concentrate on this notion.
  • Body check. Your therapist will ask whether the selected memory causes uneasy physical pain or discomfort. If so, they will guide you through another BLS iteration.
  • Closure. Your therapist will review your progress after each session and offer relaxation exercises and other coping mechanisms that can assist you in keeping your gains.

Phase 8: A reassessment

Your therapist will inquire about the memories and emotions you discussed in the previous session when the re-evaluation phase, which starts the subsequent session, gets underway. They may continue targeting them if those memories make you feel bad. If so, they'll probably advise switching to new targets.

What to understand before attempting EMDR therapy

Although EMDR is widely regarded as a reliable and safe method with few unfavorable consequences, you could encounter a few adverse effects, such as:

  • Imaginative, accurate dreams
  • Increased sensitivity to emotions or physical sensations
  • lightheadedness

Even while you might see some progress after your initial EMDR session, it can still take numerous sessions to effect fully. If you're only beginning to process traumatic situations, you could find that starting treatment causes some emotional distress and discomfort.

However, EMDR may feel less burdensome than other trauma treatment methods because it doesn't need you to talk about the event extensively or spend a lot of time thinking about it.

Your therapist will assist you in returning to the present if you experience difficulty while receiving treatment before moving on to another unpleasant memory. Also, remember that before you begin, you will learn meditation and mindfulness practices, which can help you control those undesirable emotions.

How to find a therapist who offers EMDR Therapy in San Francisco

Finding a therapist who offers EMDR Therapy in San Francisco can be done online or by asking your primary care doctor for a referral. The EMDR Institute has a list of certified EMDR therapists who offer EMDR in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is updated regularly. Additionally, you can search on Yelp and other review sites to find EMDR therapists near you. For example, Psychology Today's directory lists EMDR therapists based on location and provides reviews from past clients about their experiences with the practice. It would be best if you took the time to research any potential EMDR therapist before scheduling an appointment to ensure they are appropriately trained and qualified to treat your individual needs.

Additionally, it’s beneficial to arrange an initial consultation before agreeing to EMDR treatment to get to know the EMDR therapist and decide if they are a good fit for you.

There are several skilled EMDR therapists, including Dr.Cammy, who are accessible to aid individuals in need in San Francisco who are looking for EMDR therapy. Trauma, PTSD, and other mental health conditions can be safely and successfully treated using EMDR treatment. It's crucial to take the time to choose an EMDR practitioner who you feel comfortable working with and who has experience handling cases similar to yours. You can begin your path toward recovery from symptoms associated with trauma by using EMDR, which allows you to explore challenging memories without feeling overwhelmed.


Specialists generally regard EMDR therapy as a helpful strategy for treating trauma and PTSD symptoms. When other therapies, such as talk therapy and medication, are ineffective or have undesirable side effects, EMDR may be especially beneficial.

To deal with the emotions that surface during EMDR treatment, it's imperative to have a supportive therapist and other resources available. Some patients may experience intense feelings or physical reactions as a result. EMDR therapists in San Francisco, like Dr. Cammy, can help those seeking treatment. You must take the time to select an EMDR practitioner with whom you are at ease and who has knowledge of your particular circumstance.

You might find out more about the advantages of eye movement desensitization reprocessing. We will address your inquiries! To start counseling with Dr. Cammy, call 800-908-7890 or make an appointment for a consultation.